david finlay
Photo Credit: AXS TV

David Finlay On KENTA, Teaming With Juice Robinson, And More

David Finlay recently spoke with Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful and discussed various topics. Finlay reflected on returning to the ring after missing time with injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some highlights:

On having the roster split between NJPW and NJPW Strong:

Finlay: “I think it’s kind of forced the Japan side and the US side to, almost like a friendly competition of who can have the better show, you know? Japan actually is allowed to have some people at their shows right now, so they’ve got that advantage. It’s not the same without fans, but it’s been really interesting because everyone’s had to be pushed into an uncomfortable situation.”

On missing so much time with injuries:

Finlay: “It was crazy because, in February of 2019, I dislocated my shoulder, tore half my labrum, was out for eight months, came back, wrestled Tag League, won Tag League with Juice Robinson, won the tag titles at Tokyo Dome, lost the tag titles end of January, then the pandemic happened, and that’s been my year.”

On getting back to work:

Finlay: “Everything was really safe. New Japan made sure everybody was tested, they were on the ball with everything, Delta was on the ball with everything, it was great. And then when we actually had the shows and stuff, everything was great, it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it, so I want to do as many of these as possible before we get back to normal life.”

On why he prefers tag team wrestling:

Finlay: “That’s where I think I’m best at, for sure. There’s something different about them, they’re a lot of fun, I don’t know. The teamwork aspect of it really intrigues me. New Japan will give me opportunities, and I’ll just take whatever I can get but Juice and I just kind of, I don’t know, had success randomly. I don’t know, I think it comes from us being in the dojo together, I’ve been traveling the world with him for like the past five years, maybe a little more than that, so it kinda happened naturally and organically, and we found success.”

On teaming with Juice Robinson:

Finlay: “I think we’ve learned a lot from each other, I can’t really pinpoint what that would be, but we’ve just kind of grown up in the New Japan system together. I think we’ve more learned from our environment than each other, to be honest, so I can’t really credit him too much. When you’re training in a locker room with guys like Tanahashi and Ibushi and Kojima, guys like that, Liger, it’s so hard to not get better.”


Finlay: “Before I even started wrestling, I was watching KENTA. Like, he’s one of the guys that I came across, who someone recommended to me, and I was just like, ‘Wow, this guy’s cool.’ So for me to be like in the finals of a really big tournament with KENTA is like kind of surreal to me, but also I kind of take pride in that because, ‘Oh, wow, I’ve made it to this level.’  I immediately thought this is a huge opportunity for me, even now more so that KENTA’s in the finals. Like one, beating KENTA and being the first ever New Japan USA winner is huge.”

“Going on to face Jon Moxley alone would be a great opportunity for me, he’s a huge name, you know, it’d bring more eyes on me definitely. But beating him would be even better because then I’d get to be United States champion, and I beat Jon Moxley, so it’s nothing but opportunity for me.”

The full interview is available here:

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